Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A choice we make.

There are a few nice commercials on the air now promoting WNET, one of New York's three public television stations. You can view them and read about them here.

Each of the spots purports to be a network promo for a dumbed down television show. One, for example, is called "Long Island Landscapers," ("The boys are going over the hedge and their bad attitude is in full bloom.") Once the spoof is set up, we cut to a super that says: "The fact that you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV."

Idiocy is what I'm talking about.

Immaturity is what I'm talking about.

Nastiness, small-mindedness, name-calling, hyperbole, ugliness, violence, stupidity are what I'm talking about. They exist, all of the above, in our world in spades.

And they will continue to exist as long as we indulge them.

As long as we accept the "dominant complacency," it will prevail.

But we don't have to accept it.

I know we in advertising exist in the world and must be cognizant of it.

But we must also, I think, lead.

As shapers of brands, we are powerful shapers of public mores and opinions.

We don't have to be dumb.

We don't have to succumb.

Half a century ago, when according to TV advertising women cared about nothing but "waxy yellow build-up," David Ogilvy said "the consumer is not a moron. She is your wife."

We can update that for today.

Catering to the lowest is not a mandatory.

It's a choice.

It's one I refuse to kowtow to.

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